Ryan Weber Allows One Run over Six Innings and Steve Pearce Homers for First Time This Season as #RedSox Take Series from Blue Jays with 8-2 Victory

After needing 13 innings to top the Blue Jays in a marathon game on Wednesday, the Red Sox needed just nine innings to wrap their four-game set with Toronto up on Thursday, taking the series finale by a final score of 8-2.

Making his first start and fourth overall appearance for Boston was Ryan Weber in what was supposed to be a bullpen day for the Red Sox.

As it turned out though, the right-hander worked the first six innings of this one, yielding just one run while scattering three hits, one HBP, and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the afternoon.

That one run came in the second, when with no outs and runners on first and second, a Freddy Galvis RBI double put Toronto on the board.

It looked as though things really could have taken a turn for the worst there with three straight Blue Jays reaching base to leadoff the inning, but Weber rallied by sitting down the next three hitters he faced to get out of the jam and didn’t have to look back from there.

Retiring 15 of the last 16 hitters he faced, the 28-year-old hurler’s fine outing came to a close with a six-pitch lineout of Rowdy Tellez to end the sixth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (59 strikes), Weber relied heavily on his sinking fastball, turning to the pitch nearly 55% of the time he was on the mound Thursday with Christian Vazquez behind the plate. He also induced three swings and misses and topped out at 90 MPH with the same sinker.

Although his ERA did slightly inflate to 1.29 on the season, Weber did earn his first winning decision in a Red Sox uniform to improve to 1-0 on the year. At this point, it’s not known if the Florida native will remain in Boston’s rotation, but if he does, his next start will likely come sometime next week back at home against the Cleveland Indians.

In relief of Weber, the recently called up Travis Lakins came on for his second career appearance out of the Sox bullpen in the seventh and worked his way around a leadoff double in an otherwise perfect frame of work with the help of the infield behind him.

From there, Ryan Brasier recorded his third consecutive scoreless appearance with a 1-2-3 eighth before Hector Velazquez allowed one run on a Justin Smoak home run in the ninth en route to securing the 8-2 win for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran left-hander Clayton Richard for the Blue Jays, making his first start of 2019 after opening up the season on the injured list.

Opening up the scoring for Boston in this one was the hitter responsible for Wednesday’s win in Michael Chavis, whose third inning RBI groundout to plate Eduardo Nunez from third put the Sox on the board.

That was all they could muster off of Richard, and it wasn’t until the top half of the sixth when the bats really started to get going.

With Sam Gaviglio in for Toronto to start the inning, a leadoff single from Xander Bogaerts followed by back-to-back RBI base knocks off the bats of Rafael Devers and Steve Pearce broke the 1-1 tie and gave Boston the two-run advantage.

An inning later, it was more of the same against Jays reliever Elvis Luciano, this time with Jackie Bradley Jr, Michael Chavis, and Mookie Betts reaching base to leadoff the seventh and the reigning American League MVP collecting his 25th RBI of the year on a line-drive double to score Bradley Jr. from third and make it a 4-1 contest.

In the eighth, an Andrew Benintendi leadoff single would result in another insurance run being pushed across on an RBI single from Eduardo Nunez moments later. 5-1.

And finally, in the ninth, Devers and Pearce capped off fine days at the plate, with the former driving in Bogaerts from second on an RBI infield single, and the latter coming through with his first home run of the season, a two-out, 399 foot two-run shot to left off Toronto reliever Ryan Feierabend.

Pearce’s third knock of the afternoon made it an 8-1 game, and after the Blue Jays tacked on a run of their own in their half of the ninth, 8-2 would go on to be Thursday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

The Red Sox are four games over .500 (27-23) for the first time this season.

Through 20 games this month, Rafael Devers is slashing .345/.383/.609 with six home runs and 21 runs driven in.

Before Thursday, Ryan Weber hadn’t won a big league game since April 19th, 2016 when he was a member of the Atlanta Braves.

Xander Bogaerts has recorded multiple hits in four of his last five games played.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s off to Houston for another three-game weekend series against the Houston Astros.

The ‘Stros took two out of three from the Sox at Fenway Park last weekend in what was a tightly-contested series outside of a few poor innings.

In the opening game, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of left-handers representing Red Sox present and past, with Chris Sale getting the ball for Boston and Wade Miley doing the same for Houston.

Last time these two southpaws met up this past Sunday, Sale allowed three runs and struck out 10 over 5.1 innings while Miley surrendered three runs, two of which were earned,  in five innings of work. The Red Sox won that game 4-3.

First pitch of the series opener on Friday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.

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#RedSox Place Tyler Thornburg on 10-Day Injured List, Recall Travis Lakins from Triple-A Pawtucket

Prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox announced that right-handed reliever Tyler Thornburg has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right hip impingement. In a corresponding move, the club also recalled right-handed reliever Travis Lakins from Triple-A Pawtucket and added him to the 25-man roster.

Thornburg, 30, has posted a 7.71 ERA over 16 appearances in 2019 and owns an overall ERA of 6.54 since being acquired by the Red Sox from the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the start of the 2017 season.

There were no real signs or indications that the Houston native was dealing with an injury after his latest outing on Tuesday, so this very well could be a move to keep Thornburg on the roster for the time being without designating him for assignment.

Lakins, meanwhile, is ranked as Boston’s 17th-best prospect, per MLB.com, and this will be his second stint with the big league club after spending approximately three days in the majors back in April.

There, the 24-year-old hurler appeared in just one game for the Red Sox, one in which he yielded one earned run on four hits and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over 2.2 innings of relief back on April 23rd against the Detroit Tigers in his big league debut.

Through 14 outings with the PawSox this season, Lakins is 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA and 1.79 WHIP over 15.2 total innings of work.

Given that Thursday will be a bullpen day for the Red Sox, expect Lakins to get another extended look against the Blue Jays, as he has not pitched in a game since May 19th.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 12:37 PM EDT on NESN.

 

Michael Chavis Comes Through with Game-Winning Home Run in 13th Inning as #RedSox Hold on to Defeat Blue Jays 6-5

After trading blowouts in the first two games of this series, the Red Sox and Blue Jays were matched up in a tightly contested bout on Wednesday, with the Sox needing 13 innings to secure the 6-3 win over Toronto for their 26th of the year.

Making his 10th start of the season for Boston was Rick Porcello, fresh off seven-plus innings of two-run ball in his last time out against the Houston Astros and known for his struggles at Rogers Centre.

Working six full innings in this one, the right-hander limited the Jays to just one run while scattering three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the night.

That one run came in Toronto’s half of the fourth, when rookie phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led the frame off by blasting his fifth home run of the season and first in front of the Rogers Centre crowd to make it a 2-1 game.

Other than that, Porcello retired nine of the next 10 hitters he faced from that point in the fourth until the conclusion of the sixth, where his outing came to a close.

Finishing with a conservative final pitch count of only 80 (54 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his two-seam fastball nearly 28% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday with Sandy Leon behind the plate. He also topped out at 92 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he induced three swings and misses with and threw 19 times.

Hit with the no-decision for the second time this month, Porcello will look for win number four in his next time out, which should come against the Cleveland Indians back home on Monday.

In relief of Porcello, Brandon Workman entered this contest in the middle of the seventh with a two-run lead to protect, got the first two outs of the inning relatively smoothly, and proceeded to run into a buzzsaw.

Freddy Galvis, Brandon Drury, and Billy McKinney all reached to load the bases on Workman, who then allowed the Blue Jays’ deficit to be cut down to one by walking Luke Maile on five pitches.

Somehow though, the righty bounced back by getting Eric Sogard to ground out to second to retire the side and that was that.

From there, after Rafael Devers got that important insurance run back in Boston’s top half of the eighth, Matt Barnes gave it right back in the bottom half on a one-out solo shot from Justin Smoak to make it a one-run game yet again at 4-3.

With the chance to close this one out in the ninth, Marcus Walden, making his 17th appearance of the season, surrendered the then tying-run to cross the plate on a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single off the bat of Danny Jansen. 4-4 headed into extras.

In the 10th, it looked as though the Jays were going to steal a win from the Sox with the bases loaded yet again and only one out in the inning, but with the help of a five-man infiled thanks to Mookie Betts moving in from right, Walden held Toronto to nothing by striking out Freddy Galvis on four pitches and by getting Brandon Drury to fly out to Andrew Benintendi in left for the third and final out of the frame.

Still a 4-4 game headed into the 11th, Ryan Brasier held the Toronto bats in order before Mookie Betts put Boston ahead in the top half of the 12th.

Again with the chance to close this one out, Hembree came up short by serving up a two-out, 401 foot solo homer to noted masher of baseballs Rowdy Tellez to again tie this game at five runs a piece.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, after Michael Chavis delivered the finishing blow to begin the 13th, Hembree rebounded and closed things out with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, picking up the win and securing the slim 6-5 win for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against right-hander Aaron Sanchez for the Blue Jays, a hurler they have seen plenty of times before over the years.

Starting the scoring for Boston in this marathon game was Mitch Moreland, whose two-out RBI single off of Sanchez in the third to plate Jackie Bradley Jr. from third put the Red Sox on the board first.

Just three pitches after that ordeal, Xander Bogaerts struck with another RBI single off Sanchez, this one scoring Mookie Betts all the way from second to give Boston an early two-run advantage.

Fast forward all the way to the seventh, with Daniel Hudson in for Toronto, and a Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff double, followed by back-to-back one out walks drawn by Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts loaded the bases for Mitch Moreland and the middle part of the Sox lineup.

Moreland contributed by collecting his second RBI of the night on a run-scoring groundout to second, but that was all the Boston bats could muster in the frame. 3-1.

An inning later, Rafael Devers’ power-surge continued, as the young infielder launched his third big fly in the last three days, this one a 400 foot, 109.2 MPH opposite field solo dinger off Derek Law to lead off the eighth and make it a 4-2 game.

Fast forward again to the 12th after the Blue Jays had battled their way back, and it seemed as though Mookie Betts had came through with the biggest hit of the night for the Red Sox, a two-out, 423 foot laser to dead center off Joe Biagini. His eighth of the season to put his team ahead 5-4.

A las, Toronto answered back with that Rowdy Tellez homer in their half of the 12th, and we were on to the 13th.

There, with one out and up against Blue Jays reliever Jimmy Cordero for the first time in his big league career, it was rookie Michael Chavis who came through with the late-game heroics.

Down in the count at 1-2, the 23-year-old ripped a 91 MPH cutter from Cordero and wound up sending it 424 feet into the left center field seats for his 10th dinger of the season already.

That put the Red Sox ahead 6-5, and that would go on to be Wednesday’s final score in a contest that took four-and-a-half hours to complete. Fun times!

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s a quick turnaround in the finale of this four-game series on Thursday.

Right-hander Ryan Weber will get the ball in what’s sure to be a bullpen day for Boston, while left-hander Clayton Richard will do the same for Toronto.

Since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on May 6th, Weber, 28, has posted a stout 1.13 ERA over three relief appearances and eight total innings of work this season. He has never pitched at Rogers Centre.

Richard, meanwhile, will be making his 2019 season debut for the Blue Jays after spending the beginning of the year on the injured list due to a stress reaction in his right knee.

In two career outings (one start) against the Red Sox, Richard is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA over a brief six inning sample size.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 12:37 PM EDT on NESN. Last one before heading down to Houston for Memorial Day Weekend.

 

 

Eduardo Rodriguez Gets Taken Deep Three Times as #RedSox Fall to Blue Jays in Blowout 10-3 Loss

How do you follow up a 12-2 blowout win to open up a seven-game road trip? By getting blown out yourself the very next day, of course!

That’s right, after blowing the doors off the Blue Jays in the first of a four-game set on Monday, the Red Sox fell behind in the fourth inning on Tuesday and never recovered.

Making his 10th start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered the day unbeaten in his last seven outings.

Working the first five innings of this one, the left-hander yielded six runs, all earned, on six hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night. Half of those hits went for Blue Jays home runs.

Retiring eight of the first 10 hitters he faced, the bottom half of the fourth is where things fell apart for Rodriguez, and it all started with a harmless leadoff single off the bat of baseball’s top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., making his first ever start against the Red Sox after being held out of Toronto’s lineup Monday.

That was followed up by Justin Smoak flying out to center field for the first out of the inning, and then Rodriguez went ahead and made his first mistake of the evening, an 83 MPH changeup located way inside that Blue Jays designated hitter Rowdy Tellez took deep to right field to put his team on the board at 2-0.

Two pitches later, Toronto added to their lead, this time with Randal Grichuk taking Rodriguez deep to left on a 1-0, 87 MPH changeup on the bottom half of the strikezone.

In the fifth, it was once again Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who would wind up being the catalyst for another three-run inning by ripping another single off of Rodriguez with two outs in the inning.

After Justin Smoak drew a five-pitch walk and a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance up 90 feet, Tellez struck again for his second dinger of the night, this one a three-run, 397 foot shot to right field that seemed avoidable.

Why do I say that? Well, when you see where Christian Vazquez was set up, and then when you see where that 82 MPH slider ended up, it becomes a bit frustrating.

Anyway, Rodriguez got Grichuk to fly out to center for the final out of the fifth, and that is how his night would come to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (57 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball nearly 37% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing two swings and misses and topping out at 93.8 MPH with the pitch.

Falling to 4-3 on the season with his ERA jumping up to 5.43, Rodriguez will look to improve those numbers in his next time out against the Houston Astros on Sunday.

In relief of Rodriguez, Tyler Thornburg entered this contest in the sixth with his team trailing by five runs and left with them trailing by seven thanks to back-to-back RBI singles from Danny Jansen and Brandon Drury.

From there, Colten Brewer allowed an additional pair of runs to score in the seventh on a two-RBI double from Drury before retiring the side in order in the eighth. Just a banner day for Red Sox pitching.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against the ace of the Blue Jays pitching staff in 5’7″ right-hander Marcus Stroman.

Despite having several opportunities to push some runs across, the Boston bats didn’t get going until it was already too late.

It started in the second inning, really. No outs, runners on first and second in a scoreless game. Michael Chavis grounds into a 6-4-3 double play and Xander Bogaerts ends up stranded at third.

Just an inning later, one out and the 9-1-2 hitters do their job by loading the bases for the middle part of the lineup. Anything to show for it? Nope, because Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts both struck out to end the top half of the third.

Fast forward to the sixth, Moreland led off what looked to be a promising frame by mashing his team-leading 13th homer of the season off of Stroman, a 352 foot shot to the opposite field to make it a 6-1 game.

Back-to-back walks drawn by Rafael Devers and Chavis in the same inning gave the Sox another chance to trim their deficit, but a 6-4-3 twin killing off the bat of Christian Vazquez put an end to that potential rally.

In the seventh, Stroman was chased due to Jackie Bradley Jr. and Steve Pearce reaching base to leadoff the inning.

One pitching change that saw left-hander Tim Mayza take over and one walk drawn by Andrew Benintendi later, the bases were full for the part of the Boston lineup you want the bases full for.

But, again, nothing to show with Mookie Betts and Moreland going down by way of the K and Bogaerts grounding out to short to end the seventh.

And in the eighth, a pair of solo homers from Devers and Bradley Jr. off Joe Biagini and Sam Gaviglio made it a 10-3 contest in favor of Toronto, which would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

For Devers, his fifth big fly of the season and second in as many days to secure another mult-hit game.

Bradley Jr., meanwhile, has also homered in two straight. That much is encouraging to see.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday while also leaving 10 on base. Not great.

Tyler Thornburg has allowed runs in nine of his 16 appearances so far this season. His ERA currently stands at 7.71.

Over his last two starts, opposing hitters are slashing .333/.392/.600 off of Eduardo Rodriguez.

From Red Sox Notes:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the third game of this series Wednesday night.

Right-hander Rick Porcello, fresh off a solid seven innings and a forgettable eighth inning against the Houston Astros, is set to get the ball for Boston while fellow right-hander Aaron Sanchez will do the same for Toronto.

In his career at Rogers Centre, Porcello owns a lifetime 5.47 ERA over 13 games (12 starts) and 72.1 total innings pitched.

Sanchez, meanwhile, has posted a career 3.91 ERA in 20 games (12 starts) and 76 innings against the Red Sox. He is currently 3-4 with a 3.88 ERA and .250 batting average against through 10 starts this season.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN. Time to start another winning streak.

 

Four Home Runs Power #RedSox to 12-2 Win over Blue Jays in David Price’s Return from Injured List

Coming off a 5-3 homestand, the Red Sox opened up a seven-game, two-city road trip on Monday afternoon with a dominating 12-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in their first visit to Rogers Centre of 2019.

Making his seventh start of the season and first since May 2nd was David Price, who spent nearly two weeks on the injured list due to left elbow tendinitis.

Activated from the IL earlier on Monday, the left-hander shook off the rust and looked solid this time around, limiting Toronto to just two unearned runs on three hits and zero walks to go along with four strikeouts on the day.

Both of those unearned runs came in the bottom half of the second inning, when with two outs and Billy McKinney aboard first, Luke Maile drilled a two-run home run to left center field to put the Blue Jays on the board.

That all could have been prevented though, had it not been for a Michael Chavis fielding error which allowed McKinney to reach base in the first place instead of grounding into the second out of the inning.

Still, Price didn’t allow the homer to phase him, as he went on to toss three more scoreless, no-hit frames from the middle of the third on to the conclusion of the fifth, retiring the final 10 Blue Jays hitters he faced to wrap up his outing.

Finishing with a final conservative pitch count of only 67 (48 strikes), the one-time Blue Jay, with Sandy Leon back from paternity leave and behind the plate for this one, turned to his cutter nearly 30% of the time he was on the mound Monday, inducing one swing and miss with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.7 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw 14 times.

Eventually picking up his second winning decision of the season while lowering his ERA down to 3.29, Price will look for win number three in his next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros next weekend.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen did not allow a single hit over four collective innings of work, with Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Ryan Brasier, and Hector Velazquez combining to sit down 12 of the last 13 Blue Jays he faced.

The only Toronto hitter to reach base over that span was Freddy Galvis, who drew a leadoff walk off of Hembree in the seventh in what was an otherwise shut-the-door kind of performance from the pen to secure the blowout win.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson for the Blue Jays.

Now with his 14th big league club since 2003, the Sox bats got to Jackson beginning right away in the first, all with two outs in the inning.

Back-to-back singles from Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts led to the Sox’ first two runs of the day crossing the plate on a Rafael Devers RBI single to score Moreland and an errant throw from Blue Jays cathcer Luke Maile trying to nab Devers stealing second that allowed Bogaerts to score from third with Michael Chavis at the plate. 2-0.

Two innings later, after Toronto had battled back with two runs of their own, Bogaerts was at it again, this time driving in both Mookie Betts and Moreland on a one out, two-run single to left.

Following a Rafael Devers lineout to center, Chavis bounced back from that punchout in the first by scoring Bogaerts and himself on a two-run, 389 foot homer to left field to make it a four-run game. His ninth dinger of the season already.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth, and the bottom of the lineup came through in a run-scoring spot with Steve Pearce drawing a one-out walk and Jackie Bradley Jr. depositing his first big fly of the year off Jays reliever Elvis Luciano, another two-run shot to give his team an 8-2 lead.

Another inning later, a Mitch Moreland leadoff two-bagger resulted in two more Red Sox runs coming across thanks to another RBI base knock from Devers and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Pearce to score Devers from third and make it a 10-2 contest.

And in the ninth, just for good measure, Bogaerts and Devers capped off their fine days at the plate by going back-to-back with solo jacks off Toronto reliever Ryan Tepera to leadoff the inning.

Per Statcast, Bogaerts’ eighth of the season registered at 417 feet and 104.1 MPH off the bat, which is pretty incredible when you see the way the shortstop swung at that 1-1 face-high changeup.

Devers’ fourth of the year, meanwhile, was hit even further and harder, registering in at a whopping 445 feet and 114.4 MPH off the bat. In other words, crushed.

Anyway, those two solo home runs put the Red Sox ahead 12-2, which would go on to be Monday’s final score in the first of four between these two clubs.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

From Red Sox Stats:

The Red Sox’ 3-6 hitters on Monday (Moreland, Bogaerts, Devers, Chavis):

11-for-20, three home runs, nine runs scored, and eight RBI.

Through 27 games this month, Rafael Devers owns a .562 slugging percentage.

The Red Sox are 8-3 in their last 11 games.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second game of this series against the Blue Jays.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Boston in what will be his 10th start of the season, while right-hander Marcus Stroman will do the same for Toronto.

Despite giving up five runs in his last time out against the Colorado Rockies, Rodriguez still owns an ERA of 2.84 through three starts this month. As a matter of fact, the Red Sox are 7-0 in the southpaw’s last seven outings.

In four career outings (three starts) at Rogers Centre, Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA over 19.2 total innings pitched.

Stroman, meanwhile, got off to a scorching hot start to the 2019 season, but has since cooled off. That much is evident by the fact that the Blue Jays are 0-4 in the Duke University product’s last four starts.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their third straight win.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Collects First Big League Hit in Blue Jays Debut

While the Red Sox were getting rained out for the second time this week before their series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, the rest of the American League was much abuzz to kick off the weekend thanks to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., baseball’s top prospect, making his big league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays north of the border Friday.

Son of hall of famer Vladimir Guerrero, the 20-year-old had himself a day to remember, starting with an electric round of BP.

Batting out of the five-hole against the Oakland Athletics, Guerrero may not have filled up the box score, but he provided Blue Jays fans with an atmosphere that hadn’t been experienced at Rogers Centre since the club last made the postseason in 2016. That much was evident by the ovation he received just from fielding a foul ball and tossing it into the stands in the early innings.

In the top half of the fourth of this one, the Dominican native’s defensive abilities were put to the test on a 94 MPH grounder off the bat of A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty. Guerrero fielded it on the hop and made the out at first with the leaping throw.

Speaking of his arm, Guerrero showed that tool off once again later in the seventh, this time fielding a grounder from Chad Pinder. The 2015 international signee fielded it cleanly, collected the ball, and rocketed it across the diamond just in time to nab the runner at first to preserve Marcus Stroman’s seven shutout inning performance.

On the other side of things, Guerrero did not get on the board until his final at-bat of the night, although he did come close to going bridge twice.

Anyway, in the ninth, with his team knotted up with Oakland at two runs a piece, Vladito got what would end up being the winning rally started with a leadoff opposite field double down the right field line on a 2-2 count to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. First career hit, with many more to come.

Guerrero, who would have represented the winning run, was replaced by Alen Hanson to run in his place, but that wouldn’t really matter with Brandon Drury giving the Blue Jays their 12th win of the year on a two-run walkoff home run.

At the end of the day, Guerrero went 1-for-4 with a double in his major league debut. He faced 17 total pitches, took eight balls, two called strikes, and did not swing and miss once. It’s safe to say it was a debut to remember for the city of Toronto and the country of Canada as a whole.

As for how this relates to the Red Sox, well, the two clubs don’t see each other again until the Red Sox travel north of the border for a four-game series in late May. The Blue Jays do not visit Fenway Park again until June 21st.

So, it will be awhile before we see this phenom up close and personal, but until then, I’m just going to go ahead and enjoy the show.

Happy Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Day, everyone.

 

Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers’ Late-Inning Heroics Lift #RedSox to First Home Win of 2019

After dropping their first home game of the 2019 season on Tuesday, the Red Sox bounced back in dramatic fashion on Thursday, as they walked off the Toronto Blue Jays to capture their first victory at Fenway Park this year.

In a contest that took nearly three-and-a-half hours to complete, it was Nathan Eovaldi who got the ball to start things out in this one.

Making his third start of the season, the right-hander managed to work through five full innings despite surrendering five earned runs on six hits, two of which were home runs, and four walks to go along with four strike outs as well.

One thing that helped Eovaldi make it through five innings was the double-play ball, as he only retired four of the first seven Blue Jays hitters he faced with the help of his infield turning a pair of DP’s behind him.

The top half of the third is where things started to take a turn for the worst, however, with Toronto plating all five runs they scored off Eovaldi in a span of a few minutes thanks to a three-run home run from Justin Smoak and a two-run homer from Rowdy Tellez.

After fanning Danny Jansen to end that disaster of an inning though, the 29-year-old hurler induced two more twin killings before his evening came to an end following a scoreless fifth frame.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (51 strikes), Eovaldi threw his four-seam fastball 36 times, topping out at 99.8 MPH while inducing eight swings and misses with the heater.

His next start should come against the Yankees in New York next week.

In relief of Eovaldi, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final four innings of this one, and they relatively held their own.

Heath Hembree and Colten Brewer each struck out a pair in back-to-back shutout innings in the sixth and seventh before Ryan Brasier yielded a solo home run to Freddy Galvis in an otherwise clean eighth frame.

From there, Marcus Walden worked his way around a tight situation where the Blue Jays had runners on second and third with just one out to close the door on them and keep this contest at a one-run game going into Boston’s half of the ninth. He improved to 2-0 on the season thanks to the solid effort.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar foe in Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who entered Thursday with a lifetime 3.79 in nine career outings (six starts) at Fenway Park.

Getting the scoring started for Boston in this one was JD Martinez, whose one out RBI double in the second to plate Mookie Betts would wind up being the catalyst for a three-run inning, with both Rafael Devers and Dustin Pedroia collecting their first RBI of the season as well.

That cut Toronto’s lead to two runs after they had just scored five of their own.

Fast forward to the fifth, and the Red Sox would cut that deficit down to one run thanks to a wild pitch from Sanchez that allowed Xander Bogaerts to easily score from third with Dustin Pedroia at the plate.

Two innings later, Mitch Moreland, who is without a doubt the team’s clutchest player at the moment, came through in the big time again, as his fifth home run of the season, this one coming off Blue Jays reliever Joe Biagini, knotted this contest up at five runs a piece.

After Toronto scored what appeared to be a vital go-ahead run on that aforementioned dinger from Freddy Galvis in the eighth, the Red Sox entered their half of the ninth with three outs to work with and a 3-10 start staring them dead in the face.

With closer Ken Giles, who entered the night 34-for-34 in his last 34 save opportunities, on the mound for Toronto, Mookie Betts put the tying run on base by drawing a one out, six-pitch walk.

Just a few moments after that, Moreland was at it yet again, ripping a 389 foot double to dead center to drive in Betts all the way from first and tie this game up for the second time on the night.

Eduardo Nunez would come on to pinch-run for Moreland, and all of a sudden, the winning run was only 180 feet away.

In a bit of a tough spot, the Blue Jays decided to put JD Martinez on intentionally in hopes of turning a double play, but after Giles fell behind on Xander Bogaerts and walked him, the bases were loaded for Rafael Devers.

Entering the ninth inning with an RBI double under his belt already, Devers had the chance to send his team home with their first win since Sunday, and he did just that by bouncing the game-sealing, run-scoring single over the head of any Blue Jays infielder into shallow right field.

That allowed Nunez to calmly score from third to make it 7-6, which would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

In the Red Sox’ four wins this season, Mitch Moreland is 5-for-14 with two doubles, three home runs, and eight RBI. He is directly responsible for all four of those victories.

Dustin Pedroia has two hits in two games since his return from the injured list on Tuesday. He’s also looked pretty solid at second base.

Next up for the Red Sox, they welcome the 5-8 Baltimore Orioles into town for the first time this season.

Eduardo Rodriguez, who hasn’t pitched since last Thursday in Oakland, will get the ball for Boston, while right-hander David Hess will do the same for Baltimore.

Rodriguez, 26, has walked six batters in a total of eight innings of work in 2019.

Hess, meanwhile, has only made one prior start at Fenway Park in his two-year career, an outing in which he surrendered five earned runs in less than five innings pitched last May.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.